What does it feel like to get launched into space? What kind of food do you eat in space, where do you sleep and of course how do you go to the bathroom were some of the many questions posed of Col. Jerry Ross, retired NASA astronaut and author of the book Spacewalker during a recent trip to Detroit, Michigan.
Bringing together people from the inner city and surrounding communities to learn about NASA and the current space program was a collaborative effort between Orion’s Quest and Life Remodeled, an organization working to revitalize disadvantaged neighborhoods in Detroit. During the “Evening with an Astronaut” program Col. Ross spoke to a large audience about his many of experiences as a record setting astronaut in helping construct the International Space Station.
The following day Col. Ross met with community and business leaders to enlist support for Orion’s Quest and with local teachers who attended teacher training sessions using a curriculum from his children’s book Spacewalker My Journey to the Stars. During the training sessions presenters Susan Gunderson and Marge Sprunger from Purdue University provided teachers with a curriculum packet demonstrated hands on activities ready for use in classrooms.
In addition Col. Ross was able to make visits to Durfee Elementary/Middle School and Davis Aerospace Academy in central Detroit where students were able to hear about his adventures as an astronaut and ask questions in a small group setting. All in all it was a big success that we hope will be repeated in the future. Thanks Col. Ross!